Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms, to start off your work week. I’m pointing you to articles about leadership, strategy, industries, innovation, women and work, and work and learning now and in the future. Highlights include finding the Sinkholes in Your Strategy?, reshoring, lean principles in the Digital Economy, what it’s like raising money as a woman In Silicon Valley, and what the future of work will look like.
Be sure to look for dots that you can connect.
Note: Some links require you to register or are to publications that have some form of limited paywall.
Thinking about Leadership and Strategy
“How important is the way you implement a major change effort? We surveyed more than 2,000 global executives to find out—and to learn from the best.”
“An ideological gulf has opened in today’s business world, between companies that look outward for long-term value and those relying on internal resources.”
“My firm was once asked by a CEO to assess the strategy of his company, one of the world’s largest. He wanted to know if there were any holes that he and his board should address. I’ve always thought this showed great leadership and confidence. (Strategy is a lot like IQ for many people: to challenge their strategy is to question their intelligence.) It also revealed his keen awareness that no strategy is perfect.”
Industries and Analysis
“Have questions about whether you would benefit from onshoring? This case study from bicycle manufacturer Kent International might help answer them.”
“After years of sending call center jobs to India, the Philippines, Mexico and other countries, companies are bringing them back to the U.S. An estimated 5 million Americans are employed in call centers.”
“Manufacturers are overestimating potential savings from overseas operations by 20 percent to 30 percent by not focusing on total cost of ownership.”
Innovations and Technology
From Lauren Hepler: The quantified All-Star: How wearable tech is changing the way pro sports are played, paid for and watched
“Products like Fitbit and the Nike FuelBand have launched a ‘quantified self’ craze, but Joe Blow’s daily step counting pales in comparison to the stakes for pro sports teams that are gathering biometric data on athletes who collect million-dollar salaries.”
“Lean principles is the name given to a group of production techniques developed by Japanese manufacturing companies around the 1970s-1980s to maximize customer value while reducing wasteful resource. Lean production methods have also been described as aiming ‘to combine the flexibility and quality of craftsmanship with the low costs of mass production.’ Such methods include quality control of the processes involved in production; just-in-time production to reduce the costs associated with excess inventory; and continuous improvement involving everyone in the organization in the quest for new, easy to implement ideas.”
“Spark Camp is a next-generation convener. They engineer productive collisions of people to tackle important topics, through clearer questions, challenging conversations, and listening with curiosity.”
Women and the Workplace
“This fall, when female college students in science and math courses find themselves surrounded by mostly men, they can easily lose confidence, says former Facebook and Oracle engineer Pooja Sankar. This formerly shy college student launched a platform called Piazza to take the fear factor out and help more women get STEM jobs.”
“Men and women evaluate expertise in very different ways. This may not always be fair and can affect the effectiveness of team decisions.”
“We don’t publish many anonymous pieces on Forbes.com, but this compelling first-person account of sexism in the startup world merits an exception. I met the author several months ago and was floored by the stories she had to tell about her dealings with mostly male investors. Like many men (as she writes), I knew women in tech faced a certain degree of chauvinism and harassment, but I’d had no idea it was so barefaced and routine, in an industry that thinks of itself as egalitarian and forward-looking.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“Company cultures, the good, the bad, and – well in the interest of being nice we’ll leave it at that – have been the focus at Great Place to Work® for the last 25 years, since Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz researched their book The 100 Best Workplaces in America. What their research revealed is that the key to creating a great workplace revolves not around the building of a certain set of benefits and practices, but through the building of high-quality relationships in the workplace, relationships characterized by trust, pride, and camaraderie. What we call a great company culture. As Erin Osterhaus points out in her blog about a recent survey by Software Advice, the term ‘company culture’ has seen an astronomical rise in use since 1980, due in part to publications like The 100 Best Workplaces in America, as well as companies’ recognition that culture has a direct impact on how happy, and healthy employees are– and, how well they perform.”
“Systems to manage the wealth of knowledge inside companies can help junior staff get a leg up in career advancement.”
“Users increasingly come to the office clamoring for the same functionality, utility and speed that they enjoy on the devices they have at home. This is profoundly affecting the future of work (and the future of IT) in four key ways.”
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
If you’re a boss you have lots of organizational power behind you. Use it as little as possible.
Pointers to pieces by and about Logan LaHive, James E. Webb, Dani Reiss. Sarah Barnett, and John Chen.
Pointers to posts by Karin Hurt, Lolly Daskal, Kate Nasser, S. Chris Edmonds, and Derek Irvine.
Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about 1-800-Flowers, Spot Freight, eHarmony, William Dam Seeds, and Honda.
Writing well gives you the edge in business and in life. If you want to get a book done, improve your blog posts, or make your web copy more productive, please check out my blog about business writing. My coaching calendar for authors and blog writers currently has time open. Please contact me if you’re interested.